THERE are always a host of events available for car lovers to attend on the Australia Day long weekend, and sometimes it can be a bit hard to choose the best place to indulge your automotive passion. However, there’s no doubt that if you happen to be in the Central NSW region, the place to be is the Kandos Street Machine & Hot Rod Show.
This article was first published in the March 2019 issue of Street Machine
This year marked the 20th running of the two-day festival, which has a decent mini-Summernats flavour about it, including the headline burnout competitions, a killer show ’n’ shine, go-to-whoa competitions, grass driving events (when there isn’t torrential rain), dyno competitions, car stereo sound-offs and heaps more.
Troy Fry demonstrated just how hot it was at Kandos this year, setting his FRYZEE Holden alight on the pad
While it now takes place at a purpose-built facility with a burnout pad, the festival was actually initially held in Kandos’s main street. Needless to say, the move to the current venue nearly 10 years ago was the right one, with over 220 entrants making the trek to this year’s rodeo.
Two repurposed four-wheel drives ruled the burnout pad this year, with Brett Battersby taking home the Blown class cherries in his BLWNLUX HiLux, while Britt Kilby won the Aspirated Eight-Cylinder class in her HAMMERTIME LS-powered Daihatsu Feroza.
There was also a comp to see who could cut the most hoops in 30 seconds (without spilling their guts on the ground afterwards), with Logan Boyle spinning his way to the win with eight doughnuts in his Holden Gemini.
As for the show ’n’ shine, Bec Walker took home the Police’s Choice award with her VZ Maloo, while John Spinks and his Holden Torana walked away with the Overall Best Entrant award. Peta Psaras won the Pro class in the Sound-Off competition with her AGIT8 VE Commodore wagon, and also took out the Go-to-Whoa, proving the car is much more than just a stunning show pony. The grass driving events are always a major drawcard for a lot of the competitors, and plenty of turf was destroyed in the name of fun this year.
Despite searing temperatures, the dyno competition was also in full swing, with Lachlan Brown taking the overall win for the weekend, with his TC Cortina making 768hp.
Less than a month after contesting the burnout comp at Summernats 32, Britt Kilby was back in her Daihatsu Feroza and smashing sets on the burnout pad at Kandos, winning the Aspirated Eight-Cylinder Class
One of the cool aspects of the Kandos show is that entry tickets get people a lot more than just a pass through the gate. The organisers hire out attractions like the dodgem cars, face painting and jumping castles, and all event-goers can use them for free – how rad is that! Public liaison for Kandos Stacey Walker explained how it all works: “We hire out things like the dodgem cars and the money we get from entrants goes towards paying for that. Basically we make just enough money to cover the cost of running the next year’s event, and then the rest is donated to charity and the local organisations who volunteer their time to help run things.”
John Spinks hurled his Elite-quality Torana hatch around on the grass with consummate skill, helping to seal his Best Overall Entrant win
Overall, the 2019 Kandos Street Machine & Hot Rod Show was a huge success, with people travelling from far and wide to attend and be part of the Australia Day tradition. “We’ve had people come from as far as Victoria and WA before, but this year our Longest Distance Travelled award went to an entrant who came up from Canberra,” Stacey said. Not a bad effort for an event held over three hours’ drive north-west of Sydney!
Along with Britt Kilby’s Feroza, Brett Battersby in BLWNLUX made sure burnout-fettled fourbies ruled the pad at Kandos this year. He won the Blown class in his blown and lifted HiLux
Stacey reckoned there’ll be something special in store for the 21st event next year, too: “When the committee sits down to start planning it in a month or so I’m sure we’ll come up with something really special to celebrate,” she said. “It’s not Australia Day here anymore, it’s Kandos Day.”